DROPPING chewing gum in the street could be punishable by an £80 fine.

Rochford District Council is spearheading a new campaign to reduce the amount of chewing gum carelessly discarded on the streets.

The council has teamed up with the Chewing Gum Action Group to encourage people to “bin it their way.”

Rochford is the first council in Essex to take part in the scheme and the 16th to join the project nationally.

In participating areas last year, chewing gum dropped on the streets fell by an average 54 per cent, with some areas higher, including Cardiff at 93 per cent.

A new advertising campaign features innovative dance moves encourages people to dispose of their chewing gum responsibly in a fun and engaging way or face a fine of up to £80.

The brightly coloured adverts will appear in a range of locations across the district, including roadside banners, bus stops, and lamp-posts.

Keith Gordon, Tory councillor responsible for the environment at the council, said: “Chewing gum litter is a real nuisance that is costly and difficult to remove.

“We want the residents of Rochford to be proud of where they live which is why we have partnered with the Chewing Gum Action Group to raise awareness and proactively tackle this problem.

“We hope that this campaign will encourage gum chewers to think before they dispose of their gum and understand that they can play a part in making Rochford a clean and inviting place to live.”

Kristian Bentham, campaign co-ordinator at the action group, said: “Over the past eight years we have been extremely encouraged by the results of the campaign and we are looking forward to working with this year’s participating authorities to help create cleaner, more attractive places to live and work.”

The action group brings together a number of organisations including Government’s Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Keep Britain Tidy, the Food and Drink Federation, the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management and the chewing gum industry.

It has been running successful campaigns since 2006.